by Kemal Boelge
The elected mufti of the north-east Greek city of İskeçe /Xanthi, Ahmet Mete, passed away on Thursday morning after a long illness. He was being treated for cancer for a long time. The charismatic religious scholar was considered a symbol of the rights and freedoms of the Turkish-Muslim minority in Western Thrace.
Mete was born in 1965 in the village of Yassıköy/İskeçe. As a child, he attended elementary school in Gaziosmanpaşa and graduated from a religious high school. He first studied Islamic studies at the Uludağ University in Bursa and completed his studies at the Islamic University in Medina/Saudi Arabia.
After returning to his hometown of İskeçe/Xanthi, he worked as a preacher and taught the Koran. From 2000-2007 he held the position of Imam of Yassıören. In 2007 the Turkish-Muslim minority elected him mufti of İskeçe/Xanthi. He also volunteered as Vice President of the Committee for Sermons and Counseling for the Turkish Minority.
The news of Ahmet Mete’s death not only plunged the Turkish-Muslim population in Western Thrace into deep mourning, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also expressed his deepest condolences to the wife of the deceased Mufti. The President of the Turkish National Assembly, Mustafa Şentop, also expressed his sincere condolences to the family of the deceased.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (CHP) and the President of the Religious Authority, Ali Erbaş, also offered their condolences to the Mete family. Parliament President Mustafa Şentop is expected to attend Ahmet Mete’s funeral on Friday in İskeçe/Xanthi.
Ömrünü Batı Trakya Türk Azınlığının haklı mücadelesine vakfeden İskeçe Müftüsü Ahmet Mete’ye Allah’tan rahmet, kıymetli ailesine ve tüm soydaşlarımıza sabır ve başsağlığı diliyorum.
Yaptığı hizmetler her zaman hayırla anılacak.
Mekanı cennet, makamı âlî olsun. pic.twitter.com/fQ92GpNO0M
— Mevlut Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) July 14, 2022
– Greece –
Turkish minority does not recognize new mufti
The Mufti of İskeçe/Xanthi, Bilal Kara Halil, appointed by the Greek authorities, has been relieved of his post by a decision of the General Secretariat of the Administration of Macedonia and Thrace.